I began my career with Allianz Trade while I was doing my Master’s degree at home in France. It all started with a two-year internship as a junior credit analyst in Lille. Now, more than ten years later, I’ve lived and worked in Paris, London, and in Brussels, where I’m currently the Head of Credit Assessment Benelux. It’s been a great journey, fueled by my desire to travel and the ease of cross-functional mobility at Allianz.

I had always wanted to work abroad. I believe that it is extremely valuable — personally and professionally — to get to know other countries and cultures. I made my ambition clear to my manager at Allianz, who fully supported me in my goals and facilitated the move – after I had spent three years as a credit analyst in Paris, he said, “I’ve found a position for you.”

The role was in London, and it was the perfect opportunity for a first step abroad and to further develop my language skills. So, I applied and was thrilled when I got the job. I spent the next five years there, where I progressed from a risk underwriter to a senior, regional role supporting other underwriters thanks to my sectoral expertise.

In 2019, I moved again. This time the move was to Brussels, and at first, I remained in my previous role as Northern Europe Technical Manager Risk Underwriting. However, I made a decision to move back into a local, business unit level position and became Head of Credit Assessment Benelux. In this role, I help local teams to achieve technical excellence and support the development of tools to improve productivity. 

There are three levels at Allianz Trade: Group, Regional and Local. In my opinion, there are advantages to getting experience across all three. Starting in a local role was a great asset when I joined the regional team – I knew how things worked on the ground. Making changes in all directions really opens your eyes, keeps you focused and enables you to problem solve more effectively because you have broad insights. 

Now I’m back in a local role, I’ve brought my regional knowledge to the position. I have a deep understanding of how strategy is defined at Group level, which gives me a great understanding. I can “connect the dots” and link the day-to-day with the Group’s direction. It also gave me the chance to become a manager, which was a step I really wanted in my career. 

Even though the career move was one that I wanted, it still came with challenges, including working in a new cultural environment. This required more effort and adaptation, but I think you get more out of it. I get to meet people from all over the world who happily explain to me how things work in their countries, cultures and markets. That’s not necessarily an experience I would have had if I had stayed in France.

Ultimately, working and living internationally helps you learn, and to be open to diversity and new ways of thinking. Plus, when you observe the world from different perspectives, you see your home country and culture in a fresh light. For me, having that kind of mindset is invaluable. 

I recommend geographical mobility to everyone. It’s a great asset on your resume and shows potential employers that you’re able to overcome fear and uncertainty, and that you have confidence in yourself. I’m lucky to have received encouragement from my managers at Allianz Trade every step of the way. And I’m confident that the moves I’ve made have levelled up my career. 

Cyril Possémé

Head of Credit Assessment

Allianz Trade in Benelux